Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Joe Albert in studio with Frank Andrews about North Korea and Middle East

Newsmaker Interviews
Friday, March 9th

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Joe Albert in studio with Frank Andrews talkes about North Korea and the Middle East


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'm honored as always to have in the studio with us lieutenant colonel Joseph Albert. Now what let me just once again tell you a little bit about this guy who I've probably known for. 3035 years I don't know long time anyway. I recalled to active duty preparation for desert shield desert storm he was assigned to strategic plans and policy division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assigned specifically to the middle East Africa Persian gulf United Nations involved in planning policy and strategy for the United States forces involved in the gulf for responsibilities include briefing the coalition represented as a daily basis. While he was retained on active duty for continuing American projects including Somalia and wrote one net Africa. And of course he is here with us now and I told you he was. The military analyst for WNEP when we were assigned to work to cover desert storm and desert shield colonel power him. It's wonderful to be here frank okay tough question what do you think this whole truck North Korea did that either way when you're here last. I'm did you did you know you you weren't sure what was gonna happen there when you told us not to worry or sort of this comes from. Well you have to understand that. One man does not make foreign policy exciting viewing your listeners your your audience is very intelligent and they understand this. A lot goes into something like this. The fact that North Korea is seen Mo lights sort of speak and once and tossed. To me shows that they've been under considerable pressure. By either. Two major allies. China obviously. And believe it or not Russia. Yeah he's still playing a factor for you said that last time and and I can do no wonder what does Russia factor into North Korea so. Russia factors in in this regard. Russia and China. Our allies of sorts. But don't forget dead the Russia us. Putin's attitude is he still wants to be the dominant world leader China wants the best economy. Putin's got a lot of problems. I think Putin had a lot to do with North Korea's aggression. They're testing trump. And they trump passed the test so to speak. There's dubbed. They can't push a morale like they have previous US presidents I guess so I'm do you you know the people who are skeptical say between now and may it's not gonna happen if he is just a blustering what do you think. Well I don't think he's bolting I think both sides are sincere. But those skeptics who say a lot can happen between now on mayor correct. We don't know. Exactly what's going to happen what I can assure you right now is the lights are burning long and bright as the State Department and the Pentagon and they're putting them briefing packages together they're bringing up the issues they wanted to discuss. And they're looking at everything from all sides and by the time the president gets on air force ones. War gets settled down to wherever the meeting is going to be wished all know yet we're going to have a list. Kilby fully briefed. And a lot what happened yeah I'm just so now we have we have some sound John I wanna get ready with that first soundbites this is a former ambassador Chris Hill who was asked about North Korea's promise to me to give up some of his weapons John queer that's. The big question of course is they are. Prepare your nuclear weapons what are the tail. Is is so they were they want Percy. What it's like to meet Donald Trump what do you things start kernel are they gonna give up their new servers is going to be like a twenty year process or what they're they're not. Going to give up their nuclear weapons once you have it you don't give it up its its some water I hate to to use the expression it's similar to people receiving. Assistance once you have but it's very hard to wean off a bit. And they are nuclear power we recognized that they know Lloyd. This meeting serves to control purposes I believe. The first is we are recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. Tune they are accepting that with. Complete graciousness on their part because that's third goal to be recognized as such now that they've entered the nuclear ten. The question is can they be responsible. Those watching over them I need the Chinese and the Russians. Are hoping that they will now. Or what role that the sanctions play who they really squeeze him I'm not I'm not really sure exactly what all the sanctions are but did they force us. There's sanctions played a major role with the South Korea played a major role. The Chinese played a major role and of course but all I know you don't want to hear this. But the Russians played a major role. Now don't forget. Syria with their chemical attacks have been aided by the north Koreans Syria is controlled by two countries Iran and Russia. We have mobile 5000 American combat troops in Syria we've had a engagements already. Believe it or not involving Russian forces and United States forces in Syria the public is really not aware of what. Everything that's going on. Won't what do you what what do you think you know I'm one of the things I I know about you assure like you're like O a a champion chess player you're seven moves ahead. Or where we go on what does what's gonna happen. Well I think the best thing McKenna and Paul first bought. Let's not expect anything really significant. To come out the many meeting the fact that they're meeting just significant in and of itself. It reassure urged Japan to reassure South Korea it reassures the Australians should reassure urged the United Kingdom for. And all our allies and pay com Pacific Command. To slip up Pacific Command area I should say. Southeast Asia. It shows that the United States is sincere when we say we'd rather talk and shoot. Who we have a a piece of sound and thus a second somebody Genesis from glued to our general Jack teamed four star general united states army who has some. Comments about what brought this about coming here John. The fact that they've accepted that. It's a reason that trump has accepted the president not they can be lions who the tees. Like they've been in the past -- we get into discussions with them they move and a different direction I'd certainly keep communiques. Okay what do you think. That's. Up did generals absolutely right. If the talks don't come to fruition. It probably will not be because of us it's certainly won't be because South Korea. It won't be because of the Chinese who won't be because of the Russians it will be North Korea's decision. Unless we do something that is so outrageous. That we have to wow say no deal no talks. How do you how do you go into a meeting. SE if called this skyrocket it. Axiom in front of this little Kim after they have thrown insults at each other is that just all politics. What what happens here now after this war of words. Well you have. At the same thing that happened when he got his nomination. But look look what he did what is his fellow Republicans when he was running for president. They eat people are already on the ground working. Our second and third tier global. People already putting together briefing paper suggestions. Book was sort of speak on both sides on north Koreans are doing the same thing. And they're looking forward to when opportunity. To go from back channel which is been going on by the way we've had back channel attempts on both sides. To communicate. With North Korea. And they've. Work through other sources to communicate to us to North Korea's and in our top shape. There aren't a bad situation as you know and and you pointed out to your listeners. That they're economy they have no economy right they have nothing to when he solar I think right now. Do we want to invade North Korea absolutely not if the that the best thing that the administration can do is convince the north Koreans. That we are not going to be hostile to them. In the same respect we're not gonna tolerate any hostility towards off. Strike that's home but when you refer sure they were talking about lighting up Kwan remember that that's correct and that's that I mean that that's. That's talk yeah just talk not it's just just just for the sake of talking. It if there ever was a conflict that that there would be no problem with us just why and how there could well look let me put to you this way. To North Korea could be in Seoul in twenty minutes however North Korea could be obliterated in ten minutes hop okay. It's kind of incident respected. We're gonna take a break if you have any any questions that you want me to throw the kernel or you would like to call please incidents are honored to have him here he has been here once before talking about North Korea and he will be here with us for a little while 88300981804370098. It's a quarter before I'm frank Andrews this is W I'll take my ten minutes now before 4 o'clock in the studio with us today is lieutenant colonel Joseph Albert. Now I I shared some of his resume but he was an instructor US special operations command at Fort Bragg instructing psi ops civil affairs and delta force. Graduate of national defense university and he were here with us in the studio talking about North Korea colonel Bob quick question just came and I have a bunch of questions here for him by the way folks if you have a question or thought 88300981804370098. This question has come and repeatedly. Frank please asked the colonel what would happen if it was indeed a trap and what kind of trap do you think could possibly could be for the president. I don't. Think it's a trap as people think of traps. The problem could be if the president says some thing they're goes off script so to speak from what is. For one of the better word handlers. Are brief Oman. The only trap device would foresee is the president. Making a claim he can't. Hold up through like. I'm gonna build toyotas and your companies countries think well it give him the prisoner in the making a statement to the effect that don't belong violate chewing in one minute and if you don't agree to. ABC yeah okay I see where it just gets back to a war of words say exactly thought the next question is commit a bunch of times here is. If if something happens here where there is a an ongoing and let's say peaceful relationship between North Korean United States what's the impact of that in the world and especially in Asia. I think visual breathed a very god channel sighed in relief. Of its situation would be stabilized. And don't forget we are the prime. The prime force. In defense of Asia at this point in time we have solid allies but Japan per. The most part has no military. South Korea. The military is. Based upon their own defense. And the only rule ongoing western. Military. Is the United States and its allies Australia in particular. And United Kingdom. Now I I I know you you watch this stuff and I and I. And I'm sure you have warm salty Olympic stuff for all of a sudden North Korea wanted to be involved the Olympic goes out like a litmus test or testing the waters to see if they could lose looks kinder gentler. Probably it's probably even better I don't forget you know North Korea is not fold dumbo us. They've got some very intelligent. Articulate individual shock in that country. They're not running it it's a one man show sort of speak. But they re. Have both public image that they like to improve also. On N anything they can do to make themselves look civilized they're going to do. Tough question you're and this is this is really really tough questions that are coming and how can the president talked to him without talking about the the civil rights violations in his own country the goal logs and the people who are dying imprisoned and then American RO who was tortured. Very simply the president won't have to stick to the script. And the same as Kim more have to stick to his script. Now there's no question that probably won't come up. But one of men how it will come up is another story how would you brought out. Is another story for example if North Korea start saying well will do AB and C. The United States may respond what will be happy to accommodate Shu provided you do 123. Where which leads to civil rights that go lives etc. so her right we have got another sound bite from outlook dart from cook our general Jack Keane who talks about some of the preconditions before this meeting John career. The president trumpet is no security team had to preconditions to have negotiations. And Kim Jong was met both of them one. There is Dave Duncan did talk will be about. Nuclear disarmament and to fuel stop in nuclear and ICBM tests and he's meeting both of those conditions. While no that's kind of what she says frightens its feet keep it narrow you know don't get up off script here and and what is denuclearization. Mean does that mean they scrap everything they have. Exactly but they're not going to do that and we know that. And end they know that the question is if we can get them to stop testing. Is fundamentally important if they will agree to a bad and we can be verified. That will switch the carrot the stick approach if they need to Oriole. Food. All kinds of of goods consumer goods industrial goods etc. It they're not they're not getting anything now. Part of the problem is there are no doctor's patient if they can not demilitarized. Per say because. Where North Korea going they're not going to Japan they're not going to China they're not going to Russia the only place they go south. To South Korea South Korea is not going away. There's the fact is North Korea needs all the help they can get. The only thing may have to bargain where it is there nuclear shtick. Colonel tough question not how close do you think we came from real conflict. Probably pretty close. Like Cuban missile crisis close. I don't think it was quite that close I think that they media. Perhaps overplayed that a lot of what happened and there was a forget there was a lot of back channel. Workings going god. A communications between us from the Chinese. Communications between us and the Russians. To communications between the Russians in North Korea. China and North Korea. North Korea the United Nations by the way has one single office I don't think they have three people on staff. Compare that to any other countries the United Nations yeah. Art we're gonna take a break when we come back we have a bunch of people who wanna know where the colonel thinks the meeting should be you can call ID 300981804370098. I'm frank Andrew flew back on W out okay. The studio with us today lieutenant colonel Joseph Albert. Before you retire enjoy your part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and very active in deserts to warm desert shield and then everything else in the world. Now you came in here awareness soon die in erupted your busy schedule where you had a today. Of following your show this evening. Anderson dinner at the Hilton in Scranton sponsored. And then this is not political it's political memorize home is sponsor my life on and county Republican Party but the keynote speaker is lieutenant colonel Tony Shaffer. He does Fox News contributor. Retired. Former army intelligence officer. And I believe he's currently with the London. Intelligence service group. And he should be very uninteresting speaker and I look forward to meeting venues do you sense there's no doubt a product mentioned North Korea some way shape perform all I'm sure he will leave if not in his talk and the questions that you'll get after worked OK now we were just a little watching CNN CNN is out of the studio and they were they were talking about wanting verifiable. Actions before the meeting and you use a phrase wiggle room what do you mean. You said that you know everybody is given themselves wiggle room on this we've we put out certain things that we said before we have the meaning you must do. MD right. They put out certain things to say before we talk with you you must do one and two. That gives the inside an opportunity to. Back off and not mean if conditions aren't met to their satisfaction. Or there's no attempt to make. Meet any of the conditions I neither side. What they say to us what we say demand. Don't forget right now when he hasn't gotten to the tier one level. Believe we're still talking tier two tier three people that are doing the basic communication. We don't even know yet if we're having direct communication or free using him in the media are. The Chinese may be communicating for the north Koreans the South Koreans may be communicating for us or we may actually be speaking directly. Not you know you look at it while the news was on we were also talking and you're reminding us of what it was like trying to set up to Vietnam peace talks where they argued over the size and the shape of the table and your saying that picking the location for the meeting could turn out to be like giving birth to an elephant here right. Absolutely. I don't think we're quite ready to go to North Korea. I don't think we're quite ready to have Kim Jong come to the United States. So what does that leave for what's the alternative. May be South Korea maybe China. Maybe Japan. I'm not sure third Mets won the details they've got to work out and that's going to be a lot of give and take just stop map one aspect of the visit the from our players it doesn't need to be someplace strategic like I I I joked and said don't we should be in a hangar where the stuff I first saw. That I earned it and you left. I heard that. You voice what you have to understand. And butcher audience I believe. He's intelligent and don't understand that the average North Korea has no idea who Donald Trump bitch. The average North Korean only knows where does government tells him. And there's a very small only percentage of the population. Or involves. And who have I really an outcome. To be expected as a result of any meetings that are curse. And along those lines. If if you were representing North Korea where would you want to meet you wanna meet North Korea you wanna meet South Korea to wanna meet in China. Joining Meade in a neutral country. And the same for us we're not sure where we wanna have a meeting yet. You know on your resonate yeah I mean if you're you were involved with the US military all over the globe so while we're sitting here talking about trump meeting with North Korea. You know out of your peripheral vision one other parts of the world are you look at that I mean what was it isn't Egypt Yemen is its a Saudi Arabia. Well up all of I'm glad your brought up Yemen just just for the sake of discussion. Yeah has been involved in a very violent. Possible war for the last three year and it's really a shrewd award between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Koran as supporting. One passed says. Of the Yemen side and Saudi Arabia is supporting the other candidates got into the points were. Oh Rand has gotten the upper hand in that particular war. That these saudis have. Don't turn entire general staff so to speak they're changing all kinds of commanders. Another problem we have is Syria. And as I mentioned before the United States and the Russians have already. Crossed swords and Syria. Oh we knew I had a couple of combat missions to the Russians abroad in their own brand new issue. If but 22 under most sophisticated. Brand new fighter jets they brought him for a little. We've asked the question what did you bring four and four were not going to attack you said a word just testing are radar. Well there's a lot going on in the Middle East. Are ram is is more or less taken over eleven non sort of speak. They are totally influenced in controlling the elections in the country. As Malo which isn't a reunion allied. She is making great strides and probably will be the government in Lebanon and Iran is becoming a power in their own right they're trying to reestablish beat. Empire that they used to have a hundred years ago Turkey is a shaky NATO well all right. It still has his problems it wants to be. More or less middle kingdom the road so to speak. While Iraq is not to. Stable yet Afghanistan and we've been fighting now work for fifteen year first. Maybe it's time we need to rethink what we're doing all the. There are. You know you mentioned Russia economy's good debit. Card is. On inflammation Russia this this thing last week recruiting avenues conference about the nuclear weapon he has that nobody can take out what the heck was that. I think that was. Perhaps more from the he has some election and a couple weeks I'll rush at the soy think that was more for domestic purposes so the problem is. Again you're you have to realize we look at everything from the western media standpoint because that's what we have access to. In in Russia. It took control. Media there's no free press so to speak gov big teacher renegade group Chris Radio Free Europe. Seeker broadcasts. That he's broadcasting end of the people can possibly pick up but it's controlled media. The free press is in the United States period then just the Prius crushing world. For better or worse sometimes I. All right 70 minutes after 4 o'clock we're gonna take a break we got to get caught up in traffic and weather or should the colonel's going to be with us until 430. We've interrupted his schedule and I always press on for extra time and he always says yes we'll be right back NW ROK colonel follow up to your question someone wanted to know. What we do if we get out of Afghanistan we've been there for fifteen years what happens of the terrorists if we leave there what happens over there if we're not there and I'm not sure you suggest we leave because everything cranked. Well I have absolutely though the problem is what ham since terrorist. Or we're never going to eliminate all the terror in the world as much as we'd like to if we can't do it is just not not possible. The question is what is the united state troll. I mean I'm just give you one example we lost nine tanks how'd you lose a tank top putting in Lowe's in May just this place this. You've got to let it. You gotta we lost a tank we lost nine tanks. Now we recovered seven album. A couple we've taken back from ice is. Oh boy okay all right now hang unless it's under colonel Joseph Albert someone wants to know. If what we're doing in North Korea. As Iran watching carefully because their next in the president's scope. I'm charged say that again frank what we we we see you we stared down North Korea and everybody is saying he blinked. Yes the next threat is Iran are they watch in this in the do you think that this is put any fear of god and them. I don't think it's necessarily put the fear of god in number but certainly there watching the faith they have as much to lose as anyone. If we create as stable. Up Pacific rim area. The way can divert some more attention more effort more resources. Middle East veteran really dipped the key powder keg because you've got explosions. Everywhere in the Middle East. Us Syria is not going to go way. That's civil war's been going on for over seven year Gershon Assad does not leaving until Russian society they've had a muffled boom. And they found somebody to replace them. From a military point of view the military strategy okay did it wasn't positive negatives that we named Jerusalem as the capital. I'd I think it was a great thing but from a military point of view. I don't think it's relevant felt OK and I know I Heidi it really isn't because. The the fact is there's Israel knows we have their back now that's what's really important and that stabilizes. Some things. Again we're looking at things from the western media were not looking at the world as perhaps were the world is and how the world. Survives. Take Africa for example. We have a lot of vested interest in Africa and the world. The American people are not even aware of half the stuff we're doing in Africa couch. You just suggested that we need a three hour show to answer this next question because people are bass is over and over again. Are you are you opt optimistic about what's happening to strengthen the US military where we are right now how we're treating our veterans and our soldiers. The NBA still has significant problems. Not locally believe it turn out the Wilkes-Barre Scranton. Missed the watched their VA hospital. Is one of the better hospitals on the entire East Coast. I would have no hesitation whatsoever. To go there for anything. The system as a whole has some severe problems. We're still recovering from sequestration. From the previous administration. The navy it is almost 200 ships under shrink. The army is Holbrooke is. Under strength by eight. Over 300000. Personnel the Marines are down over a 100000. Dear Porsche just go flying B 52 bomb abortion. And a ban on the in the fleet since 1950. Where were still rebuilding. The question is guns and butter we tried it once with Lyndon Johnson we know what happened. The people are used to having a good life. And the military is expected to. Provide the defense Fredette but the military's gone in the short. He stared for the last eight the worse it's just starting to rebuild itself. Yesterday we interviewed a yacht lawmaker from Allentown who has introduced a bill and Harrisburg. He wants to attack a two dollar fee I'm birth and death certificates and all that money go into mental health resources to help. People coming back from war zone with PT EST to try and eliminate some of the suicide problem there's no one in this area was more involved in a VFW and helping menu. Or do we we have serious problem no we went to a two soldiers coming back. We have a very serious problem and part of that problem has to do with the rotation. Of individuals when there are activated. When their unit is sent to a war zone sort of speak. The effect did the six months in six months out. They don't know really what to do with regard to how long do you send somebody out for. Away from their family. The problem is you have a professional military but were using the National Guard and reserve. And we're using math to supplement the active duty forces and sometimes and don't get along sometimes are not trained as well. And view you have all kinds of problems. I think you have an individual running the Department of Defense who is solid individual. He came from the military he didn't come from some corporate. Educational do you lead up position that he's an ex general. He knows what has to be done and from the ground up not only from the top down. Cranked OK we got thirty seconds okay this is a quote that I'll be playing like in three months or what do you think is going to be the outcome of this meeting with trump and North Korea. I think you Wohl opened a new door if the meeting takes place. That's the key if the meeting takes place you'll open a new door you'll may god the president despite his jab series. Look good. And be successful the question is. Take place lieutenant colonel Joseph Albers thank you so much for being here enjoy your dinner tonight in your speaker and thank you for your service sir and thank you for your continuing service to the